A simple comment that the complainant’s political support encouraged others to engage in immoral behavior would not be considered defamation: Tripura High Court

The mere statement that the complainant’s political support encouraged a person to get involved in immoral activities won’t be Defamation or derogatory by any sort of imagination as contemplated under Section 499 of IPC. The High of Court Tripura in the case of Subal Kumar v. Gora Chakraborty and another [CRL REV. P NO.02 OF 2018] by Single Bench consisting of Hon’ble Shri Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai.

The petitioner is the Publisher of the said publication (Syandan Patrika). Complainant, a full-time activist of Communist Party of India (CPI) had filed a complaint against the Petitioner alleging that he had been defamed by the publication of some news item published in “Syandan Patrika”. It was alleged by the Complainant that on 22nd September 2008 a news item had been published in the Syandan Patrica against him and one Kajal Bhowmik with malicious intention and in that news, a totally false and the fabricated story had been published against the complainant.

The Learned Counsel for the accused-petitioner submitted before the Court that there was nothing detail in the averments, either in the complaint or in the sole statement with reference to the imputation which was said to be contained in the article published. He argued that both the Courts below failed to appreciate these primarily ingredients of Section 499 Cr.P.C. while returning the findings of conviction and sentence.

The Learned Counsel for the Complainant argued that there was no need to reproduce the contents of imputation published in the newspaper for the reason that those imputations are well-founded in the newspaper itself.

The Trial Court convicted and sentenced the accused-petitioner for the offence punishable under Section 500 IPC and Section 502 IPC, and being aggrieved, the accused-petitioner preferred an appeal before the court of learned Sessions Judge. The Sessions Judge, after hearing the parties had “affirmed and upheld the judgment and order of conviction and sentence returned by the learned trial court. Hence, the accused/petitioner challenged the said judgment and order of conviction and sentence by means of filing the present revision petition before this court.”

At the outset, the Court opined “that a person cannot be said to have committed an offence under Section 500 IPC merely because some articles or news items are published attributing certain utterances to that person.” The Court further held, “Unless it is shown that the imputation or mentionable words had been used by the accused and only at his instance, the said objectionable words were published, the accused cannot prima facie said to have committed the offence punishable under Section 500 IPC.”

While allowing the petition “The Court further opined that the accused had been deprived of knowing the actual allegation levelled against him to which he had to meet in course of the trial. Lastly, note that the entire proceeding before the trial court as well as before the appellate court was vitiated and the judgment and order of conviction and sentence imposed by the courts below were liable to be set aside. Accordingly, the judgment and order of conviction and sentence stood set aside and quashed.”

Click here for the Judgment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *